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Sustainable Construction, and Building Resilience and Adaptability for Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020) | Viewed by 31782

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Interests: building adaptability; building lifecycle integration & performance; project development; sustainable construction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015) includes Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets that relate to the resilience and adaptive capacity of the built environment (among others). These include, for example, the building of resilient infrastructures (SDG 9), making human settlements more resilient (SDG Goal 11) and strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards (SDG Target 13.1).

Four years on from the adoption of the UN SDGs, this Special Issue invites original research articles that will collectively provide a ‘state-of-the-art’ commentary on their implementation and/or attainment, with a specific focus on sustainable construction, building resilience and adaptability, which are key areas within built environment disciplines that are linked to sustainability.

Key questions to explore include the following:

  1. How these terms are understood among various stakeholders involved in the creation and management of buildings and other built assets
  2. The various conceptions (theoretical or otherwise) of these terms and how these are implemented in the practical design and construction of buildings
  3. Evidence for (or against) the contribution of these concepts to sustainability in the widest sense
  4. Various models, tools and applications (digital or otherwise) that assist in the conception and application of these concepts (e.g., in the design and assessment of outcomes)
  5. Policy and other factors that impact on the conception and implementation of these concepts in practice
  6. Any other issue that is relevant to the topic and/or keywords associated with this Special Issue.

Dr. John Kamara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • adaptability
  • buildings
  • built environment
  • resilience
  • sustainability
  • sustainable construction
  • UN sustainable development goals.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

29 pages, 4035 KiB  
Article
Opportunities and Limitations of Building Energy Performance Simulation Tools in the Early Stages of Building Design in the UK
by Ramy Mahmoud, John M. Kamara and Neil Burford
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9702; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229702 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2791
Abstract
This research investigates the use of Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) tools in the early stages of building design in UK architectural practices with a particular focus on the barriers and opportunities to their effective application and further uptake. Two primary methods of [...] Read more.
This research investigates the use of Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) tools in the early stages of building design in UK architectural practices with a particular focus on the barriers and opportunities to their effective application and further uptake. Two primary methods of investigation were undertaken; the first was a wide survey among UK architects and architectural practices, where the responses of 418 participants were electronically gathered and analysed. A deeper understanding of the issues was developed through an analysis of the process of low-energy building design using semi-structured interviews with six representatives of well-established architectural practices in the UK. The findings reveal that while there is an increasing understanding of the importance of BEPS involvement at the early design stages, there was limited evidence of actual early implementation of BEPS tools other than a few well known but specialised tools such as Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) which were used mainly for domestic energy performance evaluation. However, many practices surveyed showed interest in achieving higher standards than the “basic” regulatory backstops, which has resulted in Passive House and BREEAM seeing increasing use in domestic and non-domestic projects respectively. Although there has been a significant increase in the development and availability of tools and methodologies for assessing building energy performance our study shows that the focus for future research needs to be shifted from the “tool development” to looking at methods of implementing and using such tools in practice at the early design stages. Full article
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27 pages, 5379 KiB  
Article
Major European Stressors and Potential of Available Tools for Assessment of Urban and Buildings Resilience
by Licia Felicioni, Antonín Lupíšek and Petr Hájek
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187554 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2831
Abstract
Recent data show that there are intensifications of phenomena related to climate change, such as the increasing of heavy rains, more frequent and intense droughts connected with fires, and alterations of the local climatic conditions, including heat islands with consequent impacts on cities, [...] Read more.
Recent data show that there are intensifications of phenomena related to climate change, such as the increasing of heavy rains, more frequent and intense droughts connected with fires, and alterations of the local climatic conditions, including heat islands with consequent impacts on cities, districts, and buildings. Not only are natural hazards stressing Europe but also human-induced events like low-magnitude earthquakes as a direct cause of fracking or mining. This study aimed to investigate the significant stressors and summarize what impact is the most dangerous in each European country. There is a need to secure the operating conditions of urban infrastructures and to preserve a high-quality indoor environment of buildings. The main scope of this paper is to compare selected tools that evaluate the urban and building resilience and to assess their suitability, based on an analysis of natural and human-induced hazards in the European countries. The results represent a contribution to urban and architectural planning practice, and to the consistent implementation of measures to improve the resilience of the built environment by providing guidance as to which assessment tool is most suitable for each country. Full article
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18 pages, 6512 KiB  
Article
Change Factors and the Adaptability of Buildings
by John M. Kamara, Oliver Heidrich, Vincenza E. Tafaro, Sebastiano Maltese, Mario C. Dejaco and Fulvio Re Cecconi
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166585 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4509
Abstract
The adaptability of buildings addresses the responses of buildings to the changing needs of owners/users and the demands of external factors, over their lifecycle. An understanding of these changes is therefore key to the creation of adaptable buildings. This paper reports research which [...] Read more.
The adaptability of buildings addresses the responses of buildings to the changing needs of owners/users and the demands of external factors, over their lifecycle. An understanding of these changes is therefore key to the creation of adaptable buildings. This paper reports research which was aimed at modelling building changes to better understand the challenges for their adaptability. An in-depth study of the changes in selected case studies was conducted to understand the nature, characteristics, and implications of these changes for buildings and their ability to adapt. The findings from these case studies were analyzed against theoretical models reported in the literature on change and adaptability. As a result, a model was developed that identified and categorized a wide spectrum of changes to the building fabric within the broad remit of adaptability that are triggered by many factors, which are sometimes external to the building or organization. In the cases investigated, it was found that the factors that lead to actual changes to buildings were not necessarily due to the ease of making those changes, but rather the organizational will and means to make the changes. Similarly, changes were made not because the building systems were obsolete, but because of non-building factors. The timings of changes therefore did not correspond to the assumed lifespan models of different building layers, suggesting that a new way of predicting and/or categorizing building changes is needed. Furthermore, the interrelationships and nature of the triggers for change suggest that the adaptability of buildings is not just about building systems, but also about non-building factors. Thus, the further exploration of non-building triggers and enablers for change using the developed model presented here, will further enhance the creation of more adaptable buildings. Full article
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24 pages, 25282 KiB  
Article
Neighbourhood Social Resilience (NSR): Definition, Conceptualisation, and Measurement Scale Development
by Taimaz Larimian, Arash Sadeghi, Garyfalia Palaiologou and Robert Schmidt III
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166363 - 7 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3728
Abstract
The literature on social resilience lacks a precise definition of this concept and a clear guideline on how to measure it. Particularly, social resilience at the neighbourhood scale has received remarkably little scholarly attention. This study contributes toward filling these gaps in the [...] Read more.
The literature on social resilience lacks a precise definition of this concept and a clear guideline on how to measure it. Particularly, social resilience at the neighbourhood scale has received remarkably little scholarly attention. This study contributes toward filling these gaps in the literature by developing and empirically testing the neighbourhood social resilience (NSR) model as a robust and reliable measurement instrument that integrates various aspects of this complex concept into one coherent and fine-grained psychometric model. The reliability and validity of the NSR model are empirically tested using questionnaire data collected from 234 respondents in five neighbourhoods of Dunedin city, New Zealand. Furthermore, a more nuanced definition for neighbourhood social resilience is provided. Results indicate that social resilience is a second-order and multidimensional concept incorporating eight dimensions. Each of these dimensions captures a distinct piece in the jigsaw of social resilience; therefore, failure to incorporate all dimensions may provide an incomplete picture of this complex phenomenon. Our research bridges the gap between top-down approach of stakeholders and policymakers and bottom-up perceptions and expectations of residents about social resilience of their urban neighbourhood. Full article
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12 pages, 2590 KiB  
Article
Urban Site Development as Temporal Carbon Storage—A Case Study in Germany
by Annette Hafner, Simon Slabik and Michael Storck
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145827 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2274
Abstract
Increasing the use of sustainably sourced wood in construction for temporal carbon storage could be one vital part in the transition towards reaching the sustainable development goals for climate action and sustainable cities and communities. This paper explains the detailed steps from the [...] Read more.
Increasing the use of sustainably sourced wood in construction for temporal carbon storage could be one vital part in the transition towards reaching the sustainable development goals for climate action and sustainable cities and communities. This paper explains the detailed steps from the planning to the realization process and shows how building with wood could be linked to the entire process from the sales of building plots to the realization of projects. Additionally, based on EN 15978, life cycle assessment (LCA) results of the constructed buildings were conducted to calculate the realistic carbon storage and the global warming potential for all new erected buildings on the site. The case study area and living lab is a building site in Munich with 566 flats, which will be finished in 2020 and will be the largest urban timber neighborhood in Germany by then. All development activities are summarized under the concept of building an eco-city with low carbon emissions and a high standard for living for all groups of inhabitants. Eight buildings with different material selections ranging from wood-constructions to wood-concrete hybrid constructions and concrete constructions with different energy standards are environmentally assessed. Results show that about 12.5 million kg of CO2 are stored in the wooden structures over the estimated life cycle of 50 years within this neighborhood. This clearly demonstrates the potential that building with wood has for achieving climate targets. Further results show that heating energy demand and material choices have a significant influence on LCA results. Full article
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13 pages, 680 KiB  
Article
Conceptualizing Sustainability Governance Implementation for Infrastructure Delivery Systems in Developing Countries: Success Factors
by Bankole Awuzie and Thabiso Godfrey Monyane
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030961 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3106
Abstract
Infrastructure delivery processes possess the potential to negatively influence sustainability. To curb the incidence of these processes within infrastructure delivery systems, the enthronement of an effective project management and governance framework becomes imperative. This led to the emergence of literature on sustainable project [...] Read more.
Infrastructure delivery processes possess the potential to negatively influence sustainability. To curb the incidence of these processes within infrastructure delivery systems, the enthronement of an effective project management and governance framework becomes imperative. This led to the emergence of literature on sustainable project management practice. However, studies seeking to modify existing project governance structures in like manner remain limited. This study contributes to this emerging discourse on the utility of project governance competencies in facilitating sustainable infrastructure delivery. To achieve this objective, this study identifies critical success factors central to the design of effective sustainability governance structures of a typical infrastructure delivery (ID) system with the assistance of a cybernetic system framework—the viable infrastructure delivery systems model (VIDM). Adopting a qualitative multi-case study research design, this study deploys semi-structured interviews for data elicitation through purposively sampled interviewees within the identified cases and a document review. Qualitative content analysis (QCA) was deployed for data analysis. Findings from this study provide success factors for designing effective sustainability governance structures for ID systems. It is expected that the findings from this study will contribute to the emerging discourse concerning sustainability governance of ID systems. Full article
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25 pages, 3707 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policy for Office Building Design in South Korea
by Younghoon Kwak, Jeong-A Kang, Jung-Ho Huh, Tae-Hyoung Kim and Young-Sun Jeong
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7172; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247172 - 14 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2997
Abstract
This paper examines the effectiveness of South Korea’s policy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in office buildings and evaluates if national targets can be met. A sample of office buildings was categorized into two groups—conventional (Group A) and new (Group B)—based on [...] Read more.
This paper examines the effectiveness of South Korea’s policy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in office buildings and evaluates if national targets can be met. A sample of office buildings was categorized into two groups—conventional (Group A) and new (Group B)—based on when their construction was approved. Furthermore, data regarding the three design elements of the building envelope, that is building form, window systems, and U-values were collected. By statistically processing data of each element, reference building models were developed and a case study was conducted for each building. Design changes that were incorporated, keeping in mind the GHG reduction policy, showed 13.1% of saving energy in case 8 (reference building of Group B) than case 1 (reference building of Group A). The savings in case 8 were more than the average GHG reduction rate (12.8%) compared to business as usual (BAU). However, case 4 (a conventional (Group A) building form with new (Group B) window systems and U-values) achieved the greatest savings in building loads. The policy to enhance insulation in new buildings to reduce GHG emissions in the building sector has prompted changes in building forms and window systems and has reduced emissions by 10%, that is 3% more than the expected value. Thus, new innovations in building envelope design could achieve an average 12.8% reduction in emissions in buildings. Full article
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18 pages, 6966 KiB  
Article
CFD Simulation of Convective Heat Transfer on Vernacular Sustainable Architecture: Validation and Application of Methodology
by Wenzhou Zhong, Tong Zhang and Tetsuro Tamura
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154231 - 5 Aug 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5108
Abstract
The global background of energy shortages and climate deterioration demands bioclimatic sustainable buildings. Vernacular architecture can provide a useful resource of passive strategies and techniques for creating inner comfort conditions with minimum heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) assistance. The identification and verification [...] Read more.
The global background of energy shortages and climate deterioration demands bioclimatic sustainable buildings. Vernacular architecture can provide a useful resource of passive strategies and techniques for creating inner comfort conditions with minimum heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) assistance. The identification and verification of such knowledge are essential for climate responsive or energy passive building design. Among the methods, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a useful tool for simulating convective heat transfer of vernacular architecture and predicting the convective heat transfer coefficient (CHTC) and flow field. Geometric complexity and diversity of building samples are crucial in the development of an effective simulation methodology in terms of computational cost and accuracy. Therefore, this paper presents high-resolution 3D steady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) CFD simulations of convective heat transfer on Japanese vernacular architecture, namely, “machiya.” A CFD validation study on the CHTC is performed based on wind-tunnel experiments on a cube heated by constant heat flux and placed in a turbulent channel flow with a Reynolds number of 3.3 × 104. Three steady RANS models and two boundary layer modeling approaches are compared and discussed. Results show that the SST k-ω model applied with low Reynolds number modeling approach is suitable for CHTC simulations on a simplified building model. The RNG k-ε model applied with wall functions is an appropriate choice for simulating flow field of a complicated building model. Overall, this study develops a methodology involving RANS model selection, boundary layer modeling, and target model fitting to predict the convective heat transfer on vernacular architecture. Full article
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21 pages, 10198 KiB  
Article
Rapid Retrofit of Reinforced Concrete Frames after Progressive Collapse to Increase Sustainability
by Shuang Li, Sidi Shan, Haiyu Zhang and Yi Li
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4195; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154195 - 2 Aug 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3666
Abstract
A structural progressive collapse is usually a local failure, in which the damage is concentrated at beams that bridge the removal column and the column itself. In many cases, retrofitting the damaged structure is more economical and more sustainable than reconstructing the entire [...] Read more.
A structural progressive collapse is usually a local failure, in which the damage is concentrated at beams that bridge the removal column and the column itself. In many cases, retrofitting the damaged structure is more economical and more sustainable than reconstructing the entire structure. A progressive collapse test of a 1/3 scale, four-bay by two-story reinforced concrete (RC) frame was conducted, after which the structure was retrofitted with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) wraps and retested. The center column in the first story was removed and the frame was pushed down quasistatically under displacement control to investigate the progressive collapse performances of the retrofitted RC frame. The test results were represented systematically at different areas in terms of the resistance forces, crack developments, and local and global failure modes. Numerical models were built to verify the test frame before and after the retrofitting. A design method was proposed to retrofit an RC frame using CFRP wraps after a progressive collapse. The test frame was redesigned to improve the retrofitting and used as an example to demonstrate the rationality of the proposed retrofit design method. The results indicated that the proposed retrofitting technology rapidly restored the frame structure to its original capacity before the progressive collapse occurred, whilst consistently satisfying the priorities of being economical and sustainable. Full article
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